CMS announces funding to enroll children in Medicaid/CHIP   01/08/2013
States and local governments and community-based and non-profit organizations can apply through Feb. 21 for a portion of $32 million in Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act grants to find and enroll eligible children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced yesterday. CMS expects to award grants of up to $1 million each beginning in June for proposals to engage schools in outreach, enrollment and retention; outreach to subgroups with lower than average health coverage; strategies to streamline enrollment for people in public benefit programs; and application assistance and training programs. For more information, see the grant announcement.
HHS ordered to recalculate hospitals' Medicare DSH payments   01/08/2013
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to recalculate certain Medicare disproportionate share payments for more than 100 hospitals and pay interest on any additional amounts owed. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan vacated and remanded the two combined cases back to the HHS secretary for further proceedings consistent with the D.C. Circuit Court's 2011 opinion in Northeast Hospital Corp. v. Sebelius, which held that HHS' decision to exclude Medicare Advantage patient days from the Medicaid fraction of the DSH calculation prior to Oct. 1, 2004 violates the rule against retroactive rulemaking.
OIG: Hospital-physician arrangement would not result in sanctions   01/08/2013
In a new advisory opinion, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General said it would not impose sanctions on a specific hospital compensation arrangement with a group of physicians, which includes a performance bonus for meeting certain patient service, quality and cost savings measures. OIG said it would not seek sanctions under the federal civil monetary penalty and anti-kickback laws due to certain circumstances or safeguards included in the arrangement to co-manage the hospital's cardiac catheterization labs.
AHA small/rural section names leaders   01/08/2013
Alvin Hoover, CEO of King's Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven, MS, will lead the AHA's Section for Small or Rural Hospitals in 2013. Hoover will chair the section's governing council, which represents small or rural hospitals in the AHA's policy process and member services initiatives. Paul Bengtson, CEO of Northeastern Vermont Regional in Saint Johnsbury, VT, is the section's 2013 chair-elect and will become chairman in 2014. For more on the section's governing council, see the AHA news release.